create love-awareness: why valentine's day isn't just for lovers...

With St. Valentine's Day just around the corner, I am so excited to dedicate this post to the big "L"...LOVE!!! But I'm not just talking about love in the romantic-kissing-and-holding-hands-being-in-love kind of love that gets all the hype around this time of year, I'm talking about love in all its forms and appreciating it for the abundant supply that surrounds us. 

I've learned a lot about love over the years and, while still learning (there is always something more to learn!), my quest to understand, recognize, give more and be open to receive more love, has led me to know that love is commonly misunderstood as complicated but that it is actually quite simple. We are all worthy of love and love is always available to us, even when we may not always feel that way. There is an unlimited amount of love within each of us and in the world-- I didn't always believe that, but I see it and believe it more and more everyday. Love really is everywhere and it exists in a myriad of forms--it's just like Hugh Grant says in the opening scene of "Love Actually" (one of my favorite movies!)... "love actually is all around us"; 'tis not a platitude, my is the truth. 

There is "universal love" that exists among mankind: kindness, respect and compassion that honors and upholds the human spirit... There is "family love"--the connection and deep-seated care for and from our biological family that despite its challenges, is bond that can truly never be broken..."friend-love"-- our people... our "soul-family"... our brothers and sisters from otha' motha's that help shape our world. There is "romantic love"--the passionate and connected love between us and our significant other. And, last in this list but certainly not least, the love at the root of all love: self-love! The more we love ourselves, the more available we are to express love toward and receive love from others.

This list could go on-- there are a gazillion definitions and examples of love in this world and how much of it you feel around you depends completely on your willingness to see with your heart. This Valentine's day, let it not just be about having a romantic partner, chocolate and roses; instead, create love-awareness and allow your heart to see and appreciate the kindness of a stranger. Or, try being that kind stranger to someone else--hold the door, say hello, smile...offer a helping hand. Tell your friends why they are so important to you--write them a note, or express your gratitude over a coffee and time well spent. Call your mother, father, sister, brother, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew and tell them they are loved. Let your partner know how full your heart is  because of their presence in your world--give them extra hugs and kisses, spend quality time talking and appreciating each other. And, don't forget to make some time for you for a self-love moment--make a list of things you love about yourself, take an extra long bubble bath, take yourself out for a date. All of these things cost little or no money but, they are effective and invaluable ways to embrace and spread love and light! 

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! 

xo cjd